LITTLE ROCK — State emergency personnel and other Arkansans are on the East Coast helping residents there deal with the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Mike Beebe said Monday.
“We’ve got some private-sector folks already there and some public-sector folks already there, and we’ll stand ready,” Beebe said.
The governor said he did not expect to receive a request for National Guard officers.
“With most of those states, they’ve got sufficient National Guard personnel they probably don’t request any outside. But they did want, and we did send, additional emergency personnel to help coordinate for them,” he said.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management has four employees in Albany, N.Y., assisting with coordination efforts at that state’s emergency management office, said ADEM spokesman Tommy Jackson.
Also, the Arkansas chapter of the American Red Cross has four volunteers on the coast, six more on their way and two more waiting to leave, said Red Cross spokeswoman Brigette Williams.
The four volunteers already in place are in Albany; Harrisburg, Penn.; Somerset, N.J.; and Baltimore, M.D. They are helping to manage shelters, kitchen operations, mass care and financial services, Williams said.
The Red Cross in Arkansas has also sent three emergency trucks, each manned by a two-person team. Williams said the teams reached as far as Pennsylvania on Monday before their progress was halted by the storm.
“We don’t want anyone in danger,” she said.
The trucks will be available to distribute food, water, blankets, flood cleanup kits and other items. Each truck is able to carry up to 500 hot meals.
“We have a waiting list of people who will be able to go later,” Williams said. “If we are tasked to send more people to help, we will assign people then.”
Meanwhile, 60 Entergy linemen from Arkansas, plus 71 utility contractors and support personnel from the Natural State, are in Gaithersburg, Md., to help restore power after expected outages, Entergy Arkansas spokeswoman Julie Munsell said.
Munsell said another 78 linemen, contractors and support personnel would leave for the coast late Monday or early Tuesday.
Company-wide, New Orleans-based Entergy is sending 305 linemen to the region. The company delivers electricity to 2.8 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Munsell said the Arkansas crews will assist Pepco, a utility that serves about 2 million customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and New Jersey.
“We’ve helped them out before, they’ve helped us out before,” she said.
Williams said Monday that more than 100 blood drives in the path of Hurricane Sandy have been cancelled, so people are encouraged to give blood to help make up the difference.
Updates on Hurricane Sandy are available by downloading the American Red Cross’ Hurricane app, which is available for free from the iTunes App Store.